With a father who was a carpenter and mother who was a tailor, there is no doubt that Zimou Zeng’s background helped nurture him into the passionate jewellery designer he is today.
The grand direction for Zimou was clear – he was going to make beautiful things. This has always been an important part of his life. Yet his journey towards his dream has been rather misty and ambivalent.
“I chose interior design as my bachelor degree by accident. I did enjoy the course but I knew interior design was not my cup of tea after some time in the industry, so I decided to come to the UK and studied the Designer and Maker course,” said Zimou.
He figured out his true interest due to possibilities and experiments in the courses, which allowed him to work out different ideas through materials and processes.
“I have been really good at handcrafting since I was young. I gradually found out jewellery design is a perfect combination of my interests and is my strength.”
After staying in London for two and a half years, Zimou benefited from the open-mindedness of the city and various experiences; his perspective of creativity has ultimately expanded.
With newly equipped skills that were molded and developed in London, as well as his deeply rooted Chinese culture, Zimou said, “my work combines Chinese modesty and Western boldness.” He prefers to be labelled a “designer and maker,” or a “jewellery artist.”
Zimou, like many imaginative artists, is easily inspired by daily life. From a fantasy photo online, to any objects and details in real life, sparks of creativity develop in his mind. “I just need to open my eyes a little bit to see inspiration all around me. When I am feeling uncreative and blocked, I would go travel, which always works well for me.”
For his graduation project Dysmorphia, Zimou studied the relationship and interaction between body, jewellery and clothing. The movements and distortion of bodies are two of the concerns that are put under consideration.
Starting with theory and visual researching, ideas and thoughts has pushed Zimou’s critical thinking. Experiments on form, material and techniques enhanced the possibility of his project to come true.
“The two series of works are all made by resin and gold plated brass. I work with both precious and some less precious materials all depending on the best suitability of my design and final product result,” said Zimou.
He added that jewellery designing is like treasure being found by a hunter – once found then it becomes precious.
“Jewellery has lots of possibilities which are worth exploring. As a young jewellery designer, I am really passionate about it and I will definitely keep working on it,” said Zimou.
Looking towards the future, Zimou’s next project is going to be a series of head pieces that are based on his Master’s research on body distortion. He revealed that some unusual but inexpensive materials will be used.
“I will try to work as a creative director in my dream company in the next few years. After that I will start to work with my own brand and set up my own studio,” said Zimou. “I have a lot of ideas in mind and I hope to make them out one by one. That would be a really cool thing!”